Minister of International Business and Commerce Donville Inniss has encouraged businesses from Canada’s Prince Edward Island to use Barbados as a gateway to other markets in the Eastern Caribbean.
Welcoming the ninth consecutive Prince Edward Island delegation recently, Inniss advised the business executives not to restrict their interests to Barbados, but also to take advantage of other trade opportunities in the region.
At a Champers restaurant reception for the visiting trade delegation, it was disclosed that the Caribbean represented a market value of CAN$20 million annually in merchandise exported from Prince Edward Island. Inniss, who has already led a trade mission to Prince Edward Island, said Barbados in turn was looking to expand its trade with the Canadian province.
Inniss commended Canada’s smallest province for its decision to be bold and step out into the world. He noted the “culture of entrepreneurship” fostered by the small province which he observed was reaping dividends for Prince Edward Island.
“I think that there is a lesson for us in Barbados to learn from that,” he said, pointing to the similarities between the two islands. “We recognise that we have to go beyond our physical borders if we are really to grow and develop our economies and society.
“You from Canada want to sell us your goods and we welcome that, but we also want to sell you a few of our niche products from here in Barbados…. We also want to help you to go global,” the minister stated while flagging Barbados’ corporate structures, an avenue through which he suggested the Canadian businesses could gain a comparative advantage in international markets.
The trade mission, organised with the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Innovation PEI and the High Commission of Canada to Barbados, was made up of ten companies representing Canadian expertise in agrifood, education and training, information and communication technology, professional services and safety and industrial protective garments.
Over the course of the month Barbados will be a hub for the Canadian group’s meetings in various jurisdictions in the Eastern Caribbean.